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HBO's House Of The Dragon Hasn't Started Yet, But Star Matt Smith Already Knows How Things Could Get Truly Chaotic

Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon.
(Image credit: HBO)

House of the Dragon is on the way to show a whole new side of the Targaryen dynasty that was only mentioned and alluded to in Game of Thrones. There are Targaryens to spare in the upcoming spinoff, but that doesn't mean that the line of succession is going to be clear. King Viserys (Paddy Considine) is facing the choice between naming his daughter Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) or his younger brother Daemon (Matt Smith) as his heir to the Iron Throne. While viewers will have to tune in to see who has the better chances, Smith weighed in on what could bring some serious chaos when it comes to the succession.

Based on the trailer footage for House of the Dragon, Daemon believed himself to be King VIserys' heir because his brother's firstborn child was a girl, and no woman has sat the Iron Throne to this point. Readers of George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood have some idea of the broad strokes of story on the way (and Martin had some key book details that he wanted included), but there are more questions than answers about Daemon vs. Rhaenyra on the show ahead of the premiere. Matt Smith shared his thoughts with CinemaBlend on how Daemon would rule:

I think it would be a pretty chaotic empire [laughs], but boy, it would be fun. Heads would roll. There's only two people that would get away with murder and that would be his brother and Rhaenyra. For the rest, I think everything is up for grabs. I think it would be pretty lawless, but you know, who knows? I think it would be a chaotic empire. Certainly. Great fun though.

Any viewers coming to House of the Dragon from Game of Thrones (which is available streaming with an HBO Max subscription) are used to more than a little chaos in the Seven Kingdoms, but perhaps not quite like what Matt Smith describes for his character as hypothetical king. Daemon doesn't sound like he has the Targaryen madness like Aerys will down the line, and arguably Viserys II (Harry Lloyd) and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). Just a taste for chaos!

All things considered, Daemon sounds like a pretty entertaining character, and one with a pretty solid claim to the throne based on how the line of succession has worked to this point in Westeros. Matt Smith mentioning Daemon's brother and Rhaenyra as the two people who would get away with murder suggests an interesting relationship with his niece, who is presumably his biggest rival for the Iron Throne. One thing that is guaranteed (courtesy of the actor) is that fans should expect some Daemon sex scenes, although not sexual violence like what happened relatively frequently on Game of Thrones

Whether or not Daemon will become king and Matt Smith will play a Targaryen ruler remains to be seen, although Paddy Considine may not have been happy to let anybody else sit on the Iron Throne, based on some amusing comments from the cast about the "possessive" actor. There seem to be a lot of wild cards in addition to Daemon and Rhaenyra when it comes to the next ruler after King Viserys, including Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) and wife Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best). Speaking with CinemaBlend on the red carpet for the new show, Toussaint explained what sets House Velaryon apart from other houses that fans will know from Game of Thrones.

Luckily, the wait is nearly over for House of the Dragon and the debut of Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen beyond trailer footage. The Game of Thrones prequel premieres in the 2022 TV schedule on Sunday, August 21 at 9 p.m. ET.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.